In the first part of My story about the festival of traditional sports – TOCATI – I described, among others:
- Verona – a beautiful city where this event takes place,
- several types of traditional wrestling, including the especially interesting, Congolese Kabubu. You can read about it HERE
Traditional wrestling is not everything. A vast variety of other traditional games in Verona
Traditional wrestling – impressive, interesting and very popular – was not the only attraction at the TOCATI Festival in 2017.
You could see and play many other traditional sports and games. I suppose that many of them have not been known so far by the most of the tourists, visiting Verona.
When wandering through the charming streets of Verona, I came across many traditional games. I am describing some of them below.
Ruzzolone or rolling … the cheese?
I had the opportunity to play Italian Ruzzolone. In the past, this game was probably the entertainment of Italian shepherds.
The participant tries to roll a special disc in such a way as to make it going through the peculiar, narrow gates, marked with different numbers of points.
The disc was formerly made of stone or of … a mature cheese, which is not surprising, considering that Italians are famous for delicious cheeses until today.
In order to make a correct throw, the player wraps his hand holding the disc with a special belt. Just before rolling, you must stretch your hand while unwinding the strap and release the disc.
This sport, called by Italians a 400-years love story, has even had its own federation, based in the ancient city of Spoleto.
In Verona, I was playing Ruzzolone for the first time in my life. I did, however, surprisingly well 🙂
Lippa – hit the stick as far as possible
In the beautiful square, called Piazza Viviani, a tournament in the Italian Lippa took place.
It is a simple sport in which your task is to hit the small, wooden stick or pin to the field, using a longer, also wooden, bat. There are similar, simple, fun and entertaining games in many other countries around the world.
In Poland, a similar game is called sztekiel, kiczka, klipa or pliszka.
Several delegations presented in Verona their similar sports, such as:
- Slovenian pandolo,
- Italian s-cianco,
- Romanian turca,
- Hungarian bige,
- French jeu de guise.
Everyone interested could try playing this type of simple and very universal sports.
La morra or how many fingers do you see?
On the charming, narrow street Via Dumo, you could watch a traditional game called la Morra. It dates back to the times of ancient Egypt. La morra was also popular among Roman soldiers. Later, it was banned, but survived and was revived. Today, there are even special tournaments organized in this game. It is popular especially in Catalonia.
La Morra consists in that two (or more) opponents show simultaneously any number of fingers of their one palm and at the same time they both shout a given number.
The winner is the one who shouts the number closest to the total number of fingers drawn by all players.
Sburla la roda – roll the hay!
Elsewhere, in the very centre of the city, anyone interested could try a traditional sport, called Sburla la roda.
It comes from the old work of millers, who had to push heavy stones from the river bank to the mill, where they served them as an important piece of the equipment of the milles – a millstone.
Currently, however, the “objects” that should be moved from the starting line to the finish line are no longer stones, but large, weighting about 250 kg, … haystacks.
This traditional sport is taken very seriously in Italy. It has its own association that organizes tournaments with prizes.
All participants can try
Everyone could play every game and play, which turned out to be a very interesting experience and just a good fun for me and for many other people.
Sometimes I couldn’t wait for my turn. Especially when I was waiting in queues with many children in front of me, then me and behind a line of children again 😉
Traditional sports, games and plays are for everyone. People of different ages, colours of their skin, gender, and, as I suppose, different cultural experiences and customs were enjoying playing.
The power of traditional sports is, among others, that they connects and unites rather than divides. That is why they are worth supporting!
And what about the other attractions?
Traditional sports, especially in the festival form like at TOCATI, are MORE THAN JUST SPORTS. They are a field of culture.
In addition, there were also other cultural fields present at the Tocati festival. Despite playing traditional sports and games, everyone could, among others:
- see and dance beautiful, traditional ethnic dances,
- try the specialties of famous Italian cuisine,
- listen to a concert in the Arena,
- take part in an international conference on cultural heritage,
- participate in workshops on very important, modern and future education, using, among others, traditional sports and games.
There were literally hundreds of events, waiting for everyone interested.
The importance of the festival and traditional sports
Many visitors actively participated in the Tocati festival. They had numerous opportunities to experience many, varied attractions, especially those related to traditional sports and games as valuable elements of culture, health and modern education. They had just a lot of fun.
That is what it is all about. Play is a value in itself, just like culture, which, according to its experts, has even grown out of play. Well-understood and properly treated fun, sport and game bring only benefits to people.
TOCATI is a large, international festival, dedicated in particular to reviving traditional sports, more and more appreciated for:
- their universality, accessibility to everyone,
- pleasure, entertainment and fun they provide,
- being an excellent way of spending free time together and social integration,
- last but not least, constituting an element of a positively understood cultural identity, participation in culture and promotion of the common, cultural heritage of humanity.
Active participation in the TOCATI Festival was a very precious and wonderful experience for me and certainly for many other participants.